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Poll: 7 in 10 Americans Dissatisfied With Current Abortion Policies

Three in four respondents who were dissatisfied said it was because new abortion policies were too restrictive.

People march to the White House during the annual National Women's March on January 22, 2023, in Washington, D.C.

New polling from Gallup shows that more Americans are dissatisfied with abortion policies in the U.S. than ever before in the 23 years the organization has collected data on the topic.

Nearly 7 in 10 Americans (69 percent) say they are dissatisfied with current abortion policies, up from 3 in 10 (30 percent) who said the same thing a year ago, six months before the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Women’s Health ruling, which overturned federal abortion protections that had been established in Roe v. Wade.

A plurality of respondents who indicated they were dissatisfied with current U.S. abortion policies said there are too many restrictions on the procedure. Just over a quarter (26 percent) said they were satisfied with the laws that are currently in place, while 15 percent said they wanted abortion rules to be more restrictive and nearly half (46 percent) said they wanted fewer restrictions.

As a result of the Dobbs ruling, 12 states now have abortion bans in effect, and many more have tightened abortion restrictions, Gallup pointed out in its analysis of the polling data.

Abortion rights advocates generally oppose the idea of tying abortion rights and bodily autonomy to public opinion polling. However, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision this summer to upend nearly half a century of abortion rights protections, the Gallup polling highlights how state legislatures’ tightening of abortion restrictions runs contrary to what their constituents actually want.

Dissatisfaction with current abortion policy may also be the result of state legislatures’ apparent attempts to mislead the public about restrictions on Plan B and abortion medication. As Truthout’s Mike Ludwig recently reported, many abortion rights advocates believe anti-abortionists are purposely misleading people about the legality of these drugs.

“Amid furious legal battles and legislative onslaughts against reproductive rights, millions of people across the country are unsure whether they can legally obtain and use the abortion medication mifepristone, as well as the emergency contraception known as Plan B,” Ludwig wrote. “Advocates say the confusion reflects a favorite tactic of the anti-abortion movement, which is to intentionally write laws to confuse and mislead patients and their doctors in order to deter reproductive care.”

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